The first reporter to allege that illegal hacking was taking place at Rupert Murdoch’s News of The World publication has been found dead on Monday.
The death of Sean Hoare, a reporter who was fired from the News of the World by senior journalist Andy Coulson, has been deemed “unexplained but not suspicious” by police in the United Kingdom. The officers and ambulance responded to a tip that Hoare’s health may be at risk.
"At 10.40 a.m. today (Monday 18 July) police were called to Langley Road, Watford, following the concerns for welfare of a man who lives at an address on the street. Upon police and ambulance arrival at a property, the body of a man was found. The man was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after," British police said in a statement to The Guardian. "Police investigations into this incident are ongoing."
Although Hoare was known for his excessive drug and alcohol use, he was also the first to allege that Coulson knew about and encouraged reporters to hack into the voice mails of celebrities.
The reporter, who also worked for Rupert Murdoch’s “The Sun” before his stint at the News of the World, admitted to hacking into the voicemail of Victoria and David Beckham in an investigative New York Times article that was printed last September.
"I want to right a wrong, lift the lid on it, the whole culture,” Hoare told The Guardian’s Nick Davies during a previous interview. “I know, we all know, that the hacking and other stuff is endemic. Because there is so much intimidation. In the newsroom, you have people being fired, breaking down in tears, hitting the bottle."
News of Hoare’s death was announced one day before Rupert Murdoch and his son James are due to appear for questioning by the British parliament.